DVD Drive dropping off grid, followed by Finder and Disk Utility issues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by treehorn, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. treehorn macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #1
    I'm having a very strange series of problems with my 8 core 2.8 MacPro.

    A few weeks back I did a DIY repair/replace of my optical drive. For the last few months it was failing to open when the eject button was pushed. The drive would make a noise as if it was going to eject but it would take more and more time/tries to fully engage. After a few calls to Applecare and a few attempts of trouble shooting I got a replacement drive.

    And now I'm having a whole slew of other problems and am at a loss as to what is causing them and how to fix them.

    The drive ejects beautifully...for a while. But for some odd reason after an indeterminate period of time (by which I mean it's not consistently the same amount of time), the drive simply ceases to exist in the eyes of the computer. It will not show up in "About this Mac" (all that shows up is a blank screen when I click the "Disc Burning" section of "More Info"). It will not eject any disc that is in the drive (which shows up in finder sometimes...even if it can't be played by the DVD player application). It doesn't show up in Disk Utility.

    In fact, after a while nothing shows up in Disk Utility. It gets frozen on "Gathering Disk Information" and doesn't show any of the hard drives (yet all of them show up in the Finder window and on the desk top).

    And then the great grinding down of operations goes into full swing - sometimes the finder window won't open. Applications won't quit. Going to the Finder/desktop results in Beach Ball of Death. Yet I can force quit using the Dock. Sometimes I can shut down, sometimes I need to use a hard shut down using the power button.

    I have rebuilt permissions. I've used Disk Warrior to rebuild/repair all disks. I've unplugged all external hard drives. And upon restarting, things will work...for a while...and then things start going wrong in a domino effect.

    I did a virus scan and everything came clean.

    I haven't seen any pattern in regards to programs being used (it doesn't, for example, start after I launch any specific program.

    This all started last week after coming home and doing an Apple automatic software update. Unfortunately I don't know what it was and not sure if it is linked, as I swapped out the drive right before I left for a long weekend (so only tested the new drive briefly)

    Posted this on the Apple Discussion Forum/Board and someone mentioned that there seems to be a problem with firmware on Pioneer Optical drives. If that's the case, here is what I have:

    PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-112D:
    Firmware Revision: BC14

    Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated before I call Applecare again!

    Thanks
     
  2. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #2
    Apparently this is a common problem with Mac Pro users who have replaced the stock optical drive with a Pioneer DVD-RW drive. I have a friend (Roman23) who is having the same problem as you. He has the Pioneer 218L drives, I believe. You might want to look up the Apple Discussion forum on this issue, there is a thread on there about this same thing. It only happens with Pioneer brand DVD-RW recorders and they "disappear" from the machine, and have intermittent problems. Here is the link to the discussion:

    http://discussions.info.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=12227994


    I hope this helps, and good luck!
     
  3. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #3
    This is really annoying as Apple is the one who sent it to me as a fix...and if there are problems, one would think they would know and not use them as a replacement under Apple Care.

    Thank for the info and the link
     
  4. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #4
    (btw...this is the thread I started in the Apple Discussion forum :)
     
  5. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #5
    If this is a fairly consistent problem (and one that Apple won't acknowledge/fix...which seems likely given that they sent me the drive in the first place), I'm thinking giving in and buying another drive might be in my best interest. Not sure what would be a good option as MacMall, NewEgg and B&H really don't have that many choices (and not much overlap on the brands/models they carry).

    Plus it might not be a bad idea to get a blu-ray drive...just in case...

    So any suggestions for a Superdrive (DVD/CD) that would work in a 2008 Mac Pro and/or a bluray that would (and yes, I know that one can't play blurays...just thinking towards the future)
     
  6. Mattww macrumors 6502

    Mattww

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #6
    I have seen the same symptoms with an after market Pioneer DVR-216 in my 2009 model. The problem occurs when the drive goes to sleep with a disc in it. The quickest work around is to put your Mac to sleep and wake it - that seems to bring it back to life for me.

    I know Apple use Pioneer drives themselves as OEM sometimes but they must have a custom Apple Firmware which doesn't suffer from this issue. I have the latest firmware from Pioneer but it has the issue. It is a shame no-one has come up with a custom Firmware to fix this when adding a generic Pioneer drive in the same way region free etc updates are done.
     
  7. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #7
    I have a friend with the 218L drive that just updated his firmware to the latest version of 1.02 from the Pioneer site - still having the issue.
     

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